Most people pay little attention to the shape of the keys on a keypad unless they suddenly need more information while they are standing in front of it. At Si-TECH, we pay attention to it every day. As a leading  manufacturer of custom rubber keypads, we create intricate key shapes with our state-of-the art equipment to fit your product designs. Key shapes are important for a variety of reasons in nearly any industry, but particularly in the medical field. Let’s take a look at why key shape is so important in custom rubber keypads, using the medical silicone rubber molding keypads as an example.

Function
Sometimes keys need to stand out because they have a very special function. For example, a button that shuts down the entire system is very important and distinct in its purpose. It’s not something you want people doing by accident in the middle of a test or while a patient is receiving critical assistance from a machine. On the other hand, if there is an emergency and the machine needs to cease immediately, that button should be very distinct and recognizable so you can find it quickly and easily without hunting for it.

Direction
Distinctive shapes are not only helpful for emergencies, but for everyday use. Consider the arrow. The directional arrow can be screen printed on custom rubber keypads, but when direction is very important, the shape of the medical silicone rubber molding key itself may be emphasized further by changing its shape. Setting apart the silicone molding keypad button in more ways than one can help prevent unfortunate mistakes in high risk situations or even minor conveniences, such as moving equipment in the wrong direction.

Identification
The shape and position of certain keys can also represent the shape of their functions, making it easier to push the right button. For example, the shape of canisters accessed by a keypad in a medical lab may represent the shape and location of each one in storage. In this case, the custom medical silicone rubber molding buttons will reflect which canister is being accessed. Choosing the right one is critical not only to accomplishing a task, but to avoiding other tasks, such as accessing the wrong one.

When you’re considering the design of your next product, think about the impact the shape of the silicone molding keys will have on the function and actions of the buttons themselves. If someone else is designing it for you, keep in mind that Si-Tech can create complex design shapes to help your users choose the right one or avoid selecting the wrong one.